The Chicago Cubs (11-19) just finished a brutal stretch of 14 consecutive games against playoff contenders. It did not go well for Chicago who finished the gauntlet with a 4-10 record. They now begin what, at least on paper, should be a more favorable series of games against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.
Arizona (17-15) was picked by many experts to finish dead last in the NL West this season. Instead, they are off to a good start with a record over the .500 mark. The outstanding starting rotation has been the biggest factor so far. Merrill Kelly and Madison Bumgarner both have ERAs under 2.00 and former Cub Zach Davies has even been decent.
The D-backs have needed every bit of that pitching because their offense has been a disaster. A .199 batting average is by far the worst in the MLB. The only position player with a presentable OPS is the catcher/center fielder Daulton Varsho (.795). The one thing they can do well is hit home runs, 35 is seventh most in the league.
The schedule is getting lighter for the Cubs but there is little evidence they’re actually good enough to take advantage. The return of Wade Miley should help the rotation and hopefully Marcus Stroman is back from his setback. The Cubs performed a lot better in San Diego, taking two of three from a quality Padres team, but it’s hard to say if that was an aberration or not. We’ll see.
To be clear, it’s probably a stretch to expect any kind of winning baseball from this current Chicago roster. That said, it also stands to reason that the Cubs should be more competitive with the lesser teams they will play the next two weeks. It certainly would be more interesting to watch than the recent carnage.
Game Time and Broadcast Info
- Friday, May 13 at 8:40pm CT on Apple TV+
- Saturday, May 14 at 8:10pm CT on Marquee Sports Network
- Sunday, May 15 at 3:10pm CT on Marquee Sports Network
What to Watch For
- Willson Contreras is on an absolute tear with 11 hits his last five games including a pair of home runs and three walks. He leads the Cubs with a .304 batting average so far this season and it feels like he’s just getting warmed up.
- Rafael Ortega, who has struggled mightily in 2022, has four hits in his last two games and might be heating up, as well.
- Nico Hoerner and Seiya Suzuki are both nursing ankle injuries and it’s unclear if either will play this weekend.
- Gallen has been unbelievable allowing just three runs in 26 innings pitched this season.